Marquette Stuns Pios in BIG EAST Semifinal

Photo: Courtesy of GoMarquette.com

The Marquette Golden Eagles (7-7), trounced by Denver (#2/11-3) just five days ago 16-8 in Milwaukee, exacted revenge with a 10-8 victory in Providence, RI this afternoon. This is the second year in a row that Marquette has stunned Denver in BIG EAST Tournament play.

Marquette looked to be in control most of the game and never allowed Denver to get comfortable. The teams were tied at half – 5-5. The Golden Eagles held Denver to one goal in the third period and scored three goals to build a two-goal advantage heading into the final quarter. The teams traded goals the final period, 2-2, and the Pioneers could never close the gap. 

Connor Cannazzaro and Tyler Pace each had hat tricks for Denver and Austin French scored a pair of goals. John Wagner killed the Pioneers with 4 goals for Marquette. Joe Dunn and and Grant Preisler each added a pair of goals for the Golden Eagles to finish off the Pioneers.

As games get tighter during tournament play, the difference is often goalkeeping, turnovers, and faceoff %. Marquette converted 10 goals on 18 shots while Denver could only score 8 goals on 20 shots. The Golden Eagles goalkeeper Cole Blazer who was run out of the last game against the Pioneers five days earlier owned the pipes this afternoon.

The Pioneers had a large number of turnovers again with 14 to Marquette’s 12. Nine of those came in the critical second half. DU won 14 of 22 faceoffs (64%) as the Golden Eagles Zachary Melillo had five days to counter super FOGO Trevor Baptist. The Pioneers cannot count on winning 75% of the faceoffs, especially come playoff time.

Now, it will be up to the selection committee to determine if Denver has earned a first-round playoff game at Peter Barton after falling to 7-7 Marquette team on a neutral field. A disappointing result after improved play the final third of the season. Denver’s winning streak ended at 6.

2 thoughts on “Marquette Stuns Pios in BIG EAST Semifinal”

  1. Pios were out hustled, out worked and outplayed by a desperate Marquette team playing for its season. The Pioneers deserved to lose this one, and the 14 turnovers DU served up really helped Marquette today.

    For me, the game hinged on some key early factors. With DU’s fantastic LSM Sean Mayle out of the lineup due to a practice injury suffered on Monday, the Golden Eagles were able to take control of the game for two reasons – first, Mayle’s substitute, Colin Squires, was completely overmatched and frankly horrendous in his coverages. He had to be pulled from the game in the first half, but by then a lot of damage was done.

    More importantly, with Mayle out, Baptiste got pounded at the Face-off X in the first half by Marquette’s poles, thus negating the usual possession advantage for DU. Baptiste adjusted in the second half, but by then, the game was close, and the DU face-off advantage was mitigated.

    Finally, Cole Blazer has 12 saves for Marquette, while Ready only had six for the Pioneers. DU was out-goaltended.

    This loss could cost DU a home game in the NCAAs – we’ll see how the other games go. Very disappointing performance by DU and a great effort by a Marquette team playing for its season.

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  2. How does Tierney NOT have a conniption fit with 5 turnovers, much less FOURTEEN? It never ceases to amaze that DU has such a large number of turnovers when the coaching staff otherwise runs such a tight ship. You’d think that DU would have the fewest turnovers of any team in the country.

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